Living up to their reputation firstclass.grads put on an epic show, which is best summerised by a direct quote from Uwe, a German investment...

A fantastic weekend with Becky Chilcott (Asia Pacific Co-ordinator) of the International Society of Typographic Designers and productive, positive assessing alongside Dot Georgoulas. Amazing work in...

The cycle starts again with North Perth with a solid eight competitors undertaking the Worldskills Regional competition in Skill 40: Graphic Design Technology. Stay...

Competition Ends Closing Ceremony After four intense and exciting days, the winners of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 — the world's largest vocational skills competition have...

Competition Day 4

Removing Barriers. Working together. Making friends.

With all three major assessments completed, today offered a short test project focused on ‘collaboration’ to develop an interactive PDF to showcase competitor mosaic tiles. Fun stuff. Teams of different nationalities re-configured and push aside the privacy dividers and began working with each other (naturally, interpreters are vital for this). It was a terrific morning. Smiles all round. Whilst time was short, small huddles formed and tasks divided. Competitors now work for each other, rather than against. The presentations following lunch were well considered and laugh a minute. A few rushed notes:
  1. Fairness and trust is a personal responsibility. There is very little grey area for experts.
  2. Presentation of completed work is worth every piece of effort. Take some tips from the Visual Merchandising skill. Practice makes perfect. Wield a glue stick and a blade as deftly as a Wacom Pen or mouse.
  3. Network early, so you make connections during day one. It gives you a chance to deepen bonds with different cultures,  rather than just getting to know people during the end of the competition. Attend the Skill Out.
Competition Day 3

Packaging is lit

Think about the typical house in your neighbourhood, or local city. It has a texture, a colour, a vertical or spread layout. It has a character. Now, let us imagine the people in this house. They clichéd, cultural aspects of the families that live in that house. Who are they? How do they look? What do they wear? Now build it. In 3D will limited time and the added pressure of a LED candle inserted into the main house structure. Successful (well, what I thought was successful) was focused on:
  1. Fantastic solid colour roof and details on walls and authentic decoration (ie: curtins, doorways, tiles on roof etc)
  2. Make a kid (we had a few) stop and stare at your project. If they are enthralled, you are on the right track.
  3. Consider gardens.
  4. Consider sizing perspective of the family / characters around the building.
  5. Leave plenty of time to mock and cut out the die.
  6. Refine. Decorate. Showcase an amazing diorama.
  7. There should be no 'white paper' walls.
  8. See number 6.
Competition Day 2

Editorial, collage and infographic. All under six hours. All aboard the fast train.

Nick Lamatalale (NL) kicked off an amazing drumming bongo with Thomas Palacin-Danthine which kicked Anne Cappelen Grandt and Heng-Hsiu Liu into a dance off to lighten the mood of a late start on Day 2. It was perfect. Unscripted. Delightfully primal. Lengthy briefing session quickly brought back the stress of a complex brief. Starting points seem only to add to confusion and several updates extended question time, which threatened to reduce competitor open communication with their experts. Nevertheless, competition started strongly, marking continued from the night before and the day flew. A few tips and notes:
  1. Learn the various ways to impose an Indesign document for a foreign printer. Use distiller, manually move pages to impose in a copied INDD document, drop in PDF's or simply use Acrobat. Practice these methods. There should be no excuse to not be able to find a workaround when it comes to duplexing or printing a booklet.
  2. Info-graphics are exactly that. Spend time to make the iconography and readable text work harmoniously with noticeable legibility. Hierarchy again plays a huge role here (*see a trend?). A table of numbers and data isn't an info-graphic. It is a table.
  3. A handsome and well composed montage of imagery is like oil paintings to visual artists. It is the slowest drying of all the medium's and often whilst mix-media (ie: vector elements and patterning) can come into play, the classics always look are 'just right'. They guide the eye through the work. Also, don't put a rhino hovering in a waterfall. They can swim, but generally, the way images are built up, it is best to stay grounded.
  4. Swift roll out into social media spaces is vital nowadays. Don't re-invent the wheel, just take your key elements and re-configure for the difference canvas sizes of the social inter-webs. Make solid colours work a little harder. Don't have tiny images or simply scale down the cover of your magazine.
  5. Your presentation board skills can always be better. Practice mounting work. Float mount, stack, mosaic tile it... Do everything you can to get better at setting square bits of paper on immaculately cut foam core.

Competition Day 1 Competition Begins A hefty, externally set branding, style guide and postcard brief was laid on for 6.5 hours today as competition begun...